Michael, you have made a lot of progress in the field of sustainable finance in recent years. What were the most exciting stations for you?
Schmidt: I am happy if I have been able to contribute to the understanding and anchoring of sustainable finance. There were many exciting moments, which I was able to describe in my contribution to the book you co-edited*). Basically, it all started with my somewhat unexpected role in the HLEG** 2017-2018. I was the only representative from Germany and new to the Brussels processes, but quickly realised what a transformative project the EU Commission had in mind with Sustainable Finance. I felt a responsibility to discuss these developments intensively with many stakeholders in Germany as well. This is how, with your initiative at Deutsche Börse and together with the Hub for Sustainable Finance and the DVFA, the first Sustainable Finance Summit Germany came about, a great multi-stakeholder project. A great dynamic developed, which excited me and which I was able to accompany: Emergence of the Cluster, decision of the State Secretary’s Committee for Sustainable Development, which was followed by the establishment of the Sustainable Finance Advisory Council.
In addition to this policy work, I was particularly pleased to be able to implement sustainability in my responsibilities in asset management over many years: from integration into fund management to the development of investment solutions for different client groups to anchoring in the corporate strategy. From this experience, I also know that sustainable finance is an evolutionary process that requires conviction, perseverance and communication.